What Must I Do to Be Saved?
Everyone at some point asks the question "Is there really a heaven and really a hell? If so, what must I do to go to heaven and avoid hell?" There are many religions in the world and all of them try to answer this question, but none of them agree. So how can we know what is correct? We can know because God has given us a book that is being proven by historians and scientists to be totally accurate and without error.
The Bible clearly tells us what we must do to be saved and to have assurance of that salvation. The problem many people have is that they make it too difficult when the Biblical way is actually very easy. Let's look at it in an organized way:
There are some things you must believe
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God the Son. You must believe that Jesus really is God
Romans 10:8-10 -- But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord [this means that He is God] Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
John 20:31 -- But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Acts 8:37 -- And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Act 10:36 -- The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Acts 13:33 -- God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Some people freak out about calling Jesus "God," but the Bible sees this as the truth. You shouldn't feel the truth of God being God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is wierd. After all, you believe in three kinds of time -- past, present, and future -- a trinity of time. You believe that every element in the universe at the right temperatures can exist as a solid, a liquid, or a gas -- a trinity of states (water can be liquid, ice, or steam). You believe that we live in a three dimensional world of height, depth, and width -- a trinity of dimensions. Scientists tell us there are only three kinds of energy -- light energy, binding force energy, and kinetic energy (which includes potential energy) -- a trinity of energies. Scientists also tell us there is a trinity of continuums -- in other words everything in the universe fits under the categories of space, time, or energy. Therefore there is a trinity of continuums. So God built the concept of the trinity into creation. Romans 1 says that even the invisible things of God, including His eternal power and godhead are seen in the creation. So there is only ONE GOD. But this God reveals Himself to us in three different ways or persons -- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ died to save sinners. Since He was both God and man, only He could go between the two. Because He was a man, He could die. Because He is God, His death could atone for the sins of all people.
1 Peter 3:18 -- "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
1 Cor. 15:3 -- "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"Jesus Christ arose from the dead and left the grave.
Mark 16:6 -- And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:9 -- Now when [Jesus] was risen early the first [day] of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
John 2:22 -- When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
John 21:14 -- This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
Romans 10:9 -- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord [this means that He is God] Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
2. You must Confess Some Things.
To "confess" means that you "agree" with God about something.
You must agree with God that you are a sinner and that you know you cannot get to heaven by your own merit or good works.
Romans 3:10 -- "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
Romans 3:23 -- "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
You must agree with God that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Romans 10:9 -- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord [this means that He is God] Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
You Must Receive Jesus!
Here is where most people who are not really saved actually go wrong. It is not enough to just believe in something, you must also receive it before it will do you any good. If I hold a dollar bill in front of your eyes, you could look at it. You would see the serial numbers, the signature of the secretary of the treasury, a picture of George Washington, and all of the things that go on a dollar bill. But as long as I am still holding it, the dollar bill won't buy anything for you. In other words, you can believe in that dollar bill all you want to, but until you take it from my hands, it doesn't help you any. Salvation is the same way. Jesus Christ died for your sins so that you could be saved. Now he holds salvation in front of people so that they can take it and be saved. But you must take it from Him.
Just believing in Jesus won't get you to heaven. You must ask Him for His salvation. How do you ask Jesus for the Salvation which He offers? Simply say in your own words something like this:
"Jesus, I am a sinner. I need your cleansing and your forgiveness. I believe that your are the Son of God and that you died to save me from my sins. I believe you are alive today and are waiting for me to be saved. Jesus will you now wash my heart and cleanse me from sin as I accept you as the Lord of my life?"
One final thing
You must believe that Jesus is capable of saving you. He has saved murderers, thieves, men, women, and children. He can save anyone -- including you!